How To Make On-The-Job Training Work Effectively

Training At Work

Today’s economy has far-reaching effects on businesses, and we recognise that one of the key areas that are neglected because of cost implications is that of people-development.

Many managers consider the only way they can develop their staff is by sending them on courses, which can prove costly if they are not followed up and not integrated into the current work environment. So how can you ensure that any training your staff carry out is proved valuable by being instilled in every-day work?

On-The-Job Training, or OJT, can be linked to classroom and other types of formal learning. The basics consist of:

  • Showing trainees what to do
  • Watching them do the job
  • Talking through what they did, and how they might do it better
  • Repeating these processes until they get it right
  • Frequently linking the instructions with written procedures like training manuals

So, is OTJ the right approach? Well, it depends. You can identify the following points that will give you an idea:

  • People are going through off-the-job training that might be done better by OTJ
  • Informal OTJ activities are already going on that could be made more formal
  • There are new initiatives or changes that might be facilitated by OTJ
  • There are staff who could make good OTJ trainers

If you decide that OTJ may help your staff develop their skills quicker and give them more confidence, then remember the importance of:

  • Getting higher-management support
  • Starting on a small scale, building on success and learning from failures
  • Getting the basics correct

Then you can determine how to operate and develop an effective OTJ system. Make sure:

  • It operates consistently between different areas of the business
  • Assessment and verification processes function properly
  • The opportunities for expanding OTJ go to all areas of the business
  • You see the benefits of combining it with other forms of training

Many of your staff will enjoy the benefits of e-learning and will request opportunities to enhance their learning through OTJ and mentoring. Give them the chance to expand their knowledge through different forms of training and development. That way, you will see improvements in their performance and highlight how everyone can benefit from developing their skills in many areas.

Thanks again


Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Training   | Image courtesy by SixNine Pixels of FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

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Updated on: 16 January, 2012

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